SOASTA Courts Channel Partners

Here’s a company that wants to put MSPs, and others, to the test. SOASTA Inc., a firm that provides cloud-based testing solutions, is casting a wide net as it builds a reseller channel.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company plans to cultivate a mix of systems integrators, consultants, ISVs, cloud providers and MSPs, noted Tom Lounibos, SOASTA’s chief executive officer. He said the company will develop a multi-tiered channel program and now is discussing how to define those tiers with resellers. SOASTA may end up recruiting 250 to 300 resellers over the next three years, according to Lounibos. But he said SOASTA is more interested in the geographic location and expertise of resellers, rather than numbers.

SOASTA has the financial backing to expand its reseller reach. The company earlier this week announced a $10 million round of funding, some of which will be invested in broadening its reseller channel.

The company cites Computer Sciences Corp., among its partners. CSC has integrated SOASTA’s CloudTest offering into its cloud services. SOASTA provides CloudTest as an on-demand service in the cloud or as an appliance. SOASTA’s product lets developers test Web applications, with the ability to simulate thousands of users hitting a given app. “Our job is to help companies simulate real world conditions,” Lounibos said.

Lounibos suggested channel players are a natural fit for its testing service. Testing has become a fundamental part of the integration business, he said, noting that CSC has some 4,000 testers in India.

Beyond the CSC arrangement, SOASTA has a contract in place with Savvis Inc. and is in the process of formalizing a distribution agreement with Rackspace Hosting, Lounibos noted. But it’s not just the larger players SOASTA seeks; the company also sees a cloud-based testing fit with smaller firms with 10 to 15 consultants, he added.

Companies building or hosting Web applications all need to vouch for the reliability of an application under various loads. Lounibos contends that CloudTest can help them make that certification.

Vendors such as SOASTA and Mu Dynamics, which provides IP service testing, hope to make the case that testing wares belong in the service provider’s toolkit alongside the usual monitoring and management products. Whether the mass of MSPs will find the testing category compelling remains to be seen.

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